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Detail of photograph by Etienne Mallard
Detail of photograph by Etienne Mallard

Etienne Mallard has spent a lifetime venturing far and wide. A retired high-school philosophy teacher, he has always considered himself nothing more or less than an amateur photographer — with decent equipment. He has visited a running total now of 80 countries since he first went to Austria in 1949, all the while taking more than 20,000 pictures: from views across the Iron Curtain, a still sleepy Brazil in the 1960s to his most recent tour of the Balkans.

With a little help from his grandson (and Worldcrunch's photo editor) Bertrand, for the past five years Etienne Mallard a.k.a. "Grand-Père" has been sharing his 60+ years of travels with the world. With OneShot, he adds his voice, and our editors help make the story move.

Soviet memorial, 1967 (©Étienne Mallard/My Grand-Père's World)

At the end of World War II, several monuments were built across Berlin to commemorate the Soviet soldiers fallen during the war. Visiting in the middle of the Cold War, it was a bit risky to snap this photo of his wife Claudine walking past Soviet soldiers, who controlled East Berlin at the time.

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Ideas

Artificial Satellite Pollution, Perils For Biodiversity In Space And On Earth

Exploiting space resources and littering it with satellite and other anthropogenic objects is endangering the ecosystem of space, which also damages the earth and its creatures below.

Image of the small satellite NanoRacks-Remove Debris satellite deployed into space by the ISS

Thomas Lewton

Outer space isn’t what most people would think of as an ecosystem. Its barren and frigid void isn’t exactly akin to the verdant canopies of a rainforest or to the iridescent shoals that swim among coral cities. But if we are to become better stewards of the increasingly frenzied band of orbital space above our atmosphere, a shift to thinking of it as an ecosystem — as part of an interconnected system of living things interacting with their physical environment — may be just what we need.

Last month, in the journal Nature Astronomy, a collective of 11 astrophysicists and space scientists proposed we do just that, citing the proliferation of anthropogenic space objects. Thousands of satellites currently orbit the Earth, with commercial internet providers such as SpaceX’s Starlink launching new ones at a dizzying pace. Based on proposals for projects in the future, the authors note, the number could reach more than a hundred thousand within the decade. Artificial satellites, long a vital part of the space ecosystem, have arguably become an invasive species.

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